Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-30-2010, 10:50 AM   #181
Pentaxian
philbaum's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Port Townsend, Washington State, USA
Posts: 3,659
Thanks to K54 for the comparison between D90 and Kx, much appreciated.

Appreciate a lot of the comments about background camera stuff that i wasn't aware of.

Let me give just one example of how experience in choosing settings can make AF less important to good shots - this was an "a-ha" moment for me that has made my photos much better.

I and 4 other guys are now doing official head shots, promoshots, and decorating the lobby shots for each live performance play of a local theatre group.

This is a coupla months ago, i was shooting a dress rehearsal with a guy who had a Nikon D300s, i with my K20. This play had 2 very dark scenes in it and the Directors refuse to let us use live flash or lighten up their stage lights for our photography. I was trying to avoid 3200 ISO at all costs by using 1600-2000 iso, F2 or 2.8. The Nikon guy was using 3200 to 4000 ISO quite consistently, F4 or F5.6 as the lighting got better during scene changes.

After the play, the Nikon guy and 2 others gave me their pics so i could choose what went up in the lobby.

I chose mostly pics from the Nikon guy because he had better quality across the dark scenes, and more up close dramatic scenes. At first, i blamed my picture quality on my Pentax, then i realized the Nikon shooter had better skills than i did. I learned this by comparing his shooting parameters, scene by scene with mine.

Instead of shooting at a narrow DOF like i did at F2 and F2.8, he was shooting at F4 and F5.6, MAKING IT LESS CRITICAL FOR AF TO BE SPOT ON. Not only did that simple change make AF less critical, but it also gives more DOF across the stage getting more action in focus. So what did i need to shoot at smaller apertures, you all know, i needed more ISO. I was ready to buy the Kx to get that ISO capability, may still do that, but at the same time along comes new improvements in software from LR3 and Topaz4 that enable my K20 to get acceptable results at 3200 iso -4000iso like my new Nikon friend. The Nikon guy was not able to make the last dress rehearsal, but the Director didn't notice the difference in IQ because the rest of us are improving our skills.

I'm not saying that it wouldn't be nice to have better AF, i'm just saying that i found my K20 was good enough to get the job done, once i had the experience and software necessary :-)

06-30-2010, 09:07 PM   #182
Site Supporter
Aristophanes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,922
QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote

Instead of shooting at a narrow DOF like i did at F2 and F2.8, he was shooting at F4 and F5.6, MAKING IT LESS CRITICAL FOR AF TO BE SPOT ON. Not only did that simple change make AF less critical, but it also gives more DOF across the stage getting more action in focus. So what did i need to shoot at smaller apertures, you all know, i needed more ISO. I was ready to buy the Kx to get that ISO capability, may still do that, but at the same time along comes new improvements in software from LR3 and Topaz4 that enable my K20 to get acceptable results at 3200 iso -4000iso like my new Nikon friend. The Nikon guy was not able to make the last dress rehearsal, but the Director didn't notice the difference in IQ because the rest of us are improving our skills.
And you get the prize for explaining one of the biggest myths in the current photography forum meme.

Fast glass is better in low light.

It is, but not for the reasons most people think.

I have had a similar scenario, where I am at a social function with 2 pro photogs, one of whom is internationally renowned. It's actually a kid's birthday party indoors in winter! I took my FA 50/1.4. They shoot ridiculous Nikon and Canon lenses and gear that are worth a fortune.

But they *never, ever, ever* shoot below f/2.8.

Ever.

One guy told me that "Pros never do. There's almost no need, especially for a human subject."

They use 2.8 lenses because they have more headroom when stopped down. They are usually 5.6 shooters with human subjects and the 2.8 constant lenses simply gives them more latitude to get into the lenses sweet spot for sharpness and colour than wide open. Wide open lenses are soft (primes as well) and their contrast is lacking, especially in the corners.

And they know how to focus, just like your summary described. In fact, one guy said he requires sharpness above all (because colour can be dragged out now in PP) and once gone, you can never get it back. Colour fidelity and DR are actually more important to most observers, but there's no consensus with colour. There is with sharpness. So getting an accurate, focus and sharp detail trumps all else. If they want background effects and bokeh, they can PP it (not that I approve, but the point is there and they sell their work to people who do just that, including National Geo.).

They both had to think about whether they owned a lens faster than 2.8, and when they last used it. Neither could remember.

The shallow DOF of sub-2.8 aperture is a recipe for OOF, especially handheld. Sure enough, until I stopped down, my photos looked considerably worse than theirs did. I was using aperture to control light first, DOF second. I had it backwards.

So, the lesson I learned about aperture at a kid's birthday party is that a fast 50 works best at 2.8-4 because of the headroom it brings and I get much better AF stopping down. They were right also about the better colour and definitely sharper images, not just because of the DOF and the lens sweet spot, but also because . I re-learned the lesson about aperture and its limitations and opportunities.

ISO is another kind of latitude. As is flash.
07-01-2010, 07:06 AM   #183
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,352
> Aristophanes

Very good post. However, I think your pro friends are likely referring to 2.8 on FF. That's like 2.0 on APS-C. So their headroom is a factor of two different from Pentax digital users.

Pros pay for headroom, because it pays for itself. Interestingly, the field is only getting flatter. The pro equipment of yesterday is my mum's equipment today at an ever increasing speed. This will separate the real pros from the guys with good gear (I'm neither!)
07-01-2010, 07:22 AM   #184
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,212
QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
> Aristophanes

Very good post. However, I think your pro friends are likely referring to 2.8 on FF. That's like 2.0 on APS-C. So their headroom is a factor of two different from Pentax digital users.

Pros pay for headroom, because it pays for itself. Interestingly, the field is only getting flatter. The pro equipment of yesterday is my mum's equipment today at an ever increasing speed. This will separate the real pros from the guys with good gear (I'm neither!)
Not all pros are using FF though. That too is a big myth. Furthermore, the aperture doesn't change from one format to another, it the sensor or film size that changes. That's why the DOF is different. However, it also depends on the subject distance. When standing at the same spot, f2.8 isn't going to change from a ff to aps-c on a stage scene to make that big of a difference on human subjects.


Last edited by Blue; 07-01-2010 at 07:27 AM.
07-01-2010, 10:07 AM   #185
Site Supporter
Aristophanes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,922
QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
> Aristophanes

Very good post. However, I think your pro friends are likely referring to 2.8 on FF. That's like 2.0 on APS-C. So their headroom is a factor of two different from Pentax digital users.

Pros pay for headroom, because it pays for itself. Interestingly, the field is only getting flatter. The pro equipment of yesterday is my mum's equipment today at an ever increasing speed. This will separate the real pros from the guys with good gear (I'm neither!)
One was APS-C all the way (journalist whose wire service paid for his gear; Canon with over $30k worth of lenses), the other was FF and a Nikon guy. D700 and the killer zooms. He also has a D300 and a D40 but he shot the D700 at the party.

Not all pros use FF. All I know use APS-C as well for backup and telecentricity, and carry around an LX3 similar as their P&S (often used to scout sites).

The APS-C guy is the people shooter, so his reference was more applicable and true to my above post. They both loved the Pentax gear for its compactness, the green button (oh yeah, loved that) and the control layout. When I pulled out my A50/2.8 Macro, that was well-admired in that nostalgic kind of way. They AF 100% of people or moving subject shots, but MF for landscape etc. They key to AF was appropriate DOF for a sharp image. Anything below 2.8 simply was not pro shooting.

Regarding lenses, there's not much IQ difference between brands. I pixel peeped their shots and mine in identical lighting etc. (we used bounce flash a few times), and saw zero difference. I also shot my 10-17 FE (which they thought was terrific because sometimes they don't have time for the "fun" photography). The FE excels at, of all things, video, so I was the guy who recorded the birthday cake scene because the D700 could not. Hah!

We all agreed that the ability to dial up ISO is a real boon in digital, but there are trade-offs, especially loss of DR (and Canon guy said that's a big issue for skin tones, especially if there are many skin tones in a single shot). Though both dislike flash (although Nikon guy uses set lighting a lot) but they will use it when required. It's a necessary tool.

Key issue: They almost never shoot below 2.8. With human subjects 95% of shots are at f/4 to f/8. Below 2.8 is extremely rare for those whose living depends on sharpness and dead-on accurate focus.
07-01-2010, 10:20 AM   #186
Pentaxian
aleonx3's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,888
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
One was APS-C all the way (journalist whose wire service paid for his gear; Canon with over $30k worth of lenses), the other was FF and a Nikon guy. D700 and the killer zooms. He also has a D300 and a D40 but he shot the D700 at the party.

Not all pros use FF. All I know use APS-C as well for backup and telecentricity, and carry around an LX3 similar as their P&S (often used to scout sites).

The APS-C guy is the people shooter, so his reference was more applicable and true to my above post. They both loved the Pentax gear for its compactness, the green button (oh yeah, loved that) and the control layout. When I pulled out my A50/2.8 Macro, that was well-admired in that nostalgic kind of way. They AF 100% of people or moving subject shots, but MF for landscape etc. They key to AF was appropriate DOF for a sharp image. Anything below 2.8 simply was not pro shooting.

Regarding lenses, there's not much IQ difference between brands. I pixel peeped their shots and mine in identical lighting etc. (we used bounce flash a few times), and saw zero difference. I also shot my 10-17 FE (which they thought was terrific because sometimes they don't have time for the "fun" photography). The FE excels at, of all things, video, so I was the guy who recorded the birthday cake scene because the D700 could not. Hah!

We all agreed that the ability to dial up ISO is a real boon in digital, but there are trade-offs, especially loss of DR (and Canon guy said that's a big issue for skin tones, especially if there are many skin tones in a single shot). Though both dislike flash (although Nikon guy uses set lighting a lot) but they will use it when required. It's a necessary tool.

Key issue: They almost never shoot below 2.8. With human subjects 95% of shots are at f/4 to f/8. Below 2.8 is extremely rare for those whose living depends on sharpness and dead-on accurate focus.
Aristophanes, thanks for sharing your thoughts and especially your experience using your Pentax gear, working alongside with colleagues using other brands. To me, this shows more of utilization the equipment to get the job done - unlike those who brag (their own) and trash (other people's) equipment.
07-01-2010, 12:22 PM   #187
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mount Shasta
Posts: 185
Aristophanes. Thanks for the low light post. Like most of my peers, I just automatically use the widest aperature and lowest ISO when shooting stage events, etc. I will experiment with this new knowledge. The Kx should give me the leeway I need. Thanks.
07-01-2010, 12:24 PM   #188
k54
Forum Member
k54's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manila
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 78
QuoteOriginally posted by opiedog Quote
nice article comparing D90 and kx.
they're both good, both with plusses and minuses.

one more thing to note is that w/ the Kx, there's a backdoor to adjust FF or BF.
and i think w/ the D70,80,90, you need to mechanically turn a hex screw.
i'm sure nikon has software to do this, but nothing is published.

BTW, how's that new President on day 1?

regards,
Thanks for the additional info. I will stay with my K-x and not buy the D-90 anymore as what I had planned by December.

I only hope that the next Pentax should have a computer tethering mode like my D-80 so that I can use my Breeze System DSLR remote pro in capturing large format documents in our office.

I hope there will be a new K-7 version upgrade for this or even a K-x firmware upgrade for this function.

As for our new President, I was amazed that his convoy followed traffic rules and even stopped by red lights. He is the 1st one that I've seen do that.

He really proved that I made the right choice voting for him and be proud to be a Filipino again.

07-01-2010, 12:39 PM   #189
k54
Forum Member
k54's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manila
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 78
QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Thanks to K54 for the comparison between D90 and Kx, much appreciated.

Appreciate a lot of the comments about background camera stuff that i wasn't aware of.

Let me give just one example of how experience in choosing settings can make AF less important to good shots - this was an "a-ha" moment for me that has made my photos much better.

I and 4 other guys are now doing official head shots, promoshots, and decorating the lobby shots for each live performance play of a local theatre group.

This is a coupla months ago, i was shooting a dress rehearsal with a guy who had a Nikon D300s, i with my K20. This play had 2 very dark scenes in it and the Directors refuse to let us use live flash or lighten up their stage lights for our photography. I was trying to avoid 3200 ISO at all costs by using 1600-2000 iso, F2 or 2.8. The Nikon guy was using 3200 to 4000 ISO quite consistently, F4 or F5.6 as the lighting got better during scene changes.

After the play, the Nikon guy and 2 others gave me their pics so i could choose what went up in the lobby.

I chose mostly pics from the Nikon guy because he had better quality across the dark scenes, and more up close dramatic scenes. At first, i blamed my picture quality on my Pentax, then i realized the Nikon shooter had better skills than i did. I learned this by comparing his shooting parameters, scene by scene with mine.

Instead of shooting at a narrow DOF like i did at F2 and F2.8, he was shooting at F4 and F5.6, MAKING IT LESS CRITICAL FOR AF TO BE SPOT ON. Not only did that simple change make AF less critical, but it also gives more DOF across the stage getting more action in focus. So what did i need to shoot at smaller apertures, you all know, i needed more ISO. I was ready to buy the Kx to get that ISO capability, may still do that, but at the same time along comes new improvements in software from LR3 and Topaz4 that enable my K20 to get acceptable results at 3200 iso -4000iso like my new Nikon friend. The Nikon guy was not able to make the last dress rehearsal, but the Director didn't notice the difference in IQ because the rest of us are improving our skills.

I'm not saying that it wouldn't be nice to have better AF, i'm just saying that i found my K20 was good enough to get the job done, once i had the experience and software necessary :-)
You are Welcome and Thank You Phil. I had that same problem before.

So what I did was bring a 10.1" netbook on events especially on poorly lighted events and do test shots on different ISO settings, Aperture opening, and Exposures between -0.3 to +0.7 EV.

I asked my friend or anybody available to walk or move on the stage or on the field to simulate the upcoming event then view it in my netbook. Then I adjust my settings accordingly if I am not happy on certain scenes.

Therefore I am improving my skills faster as sometimes the image on the LCD screen is not that reliable.

Just buy an extended battery life of 6 to 8 hours for netbooks in case your event will take longer.
07-01-2010, 12:49 PM   #190
k54
Forum Member
k54's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manila
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 78
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
And you get the prize for explaining one of the biggest myths in the current photography forum meme.

Fast glass is better in low light.

It is, but not for the reasons most people think.

I have had a similar scenario, where I am at a social function with 2 pro photogs, one of whom is internationally renowned. It's actually a kid's birthday party indoors in winter! I took my FA 50/1.4. They shoot ridiculous Nikon and Canon lenses and gear that are worth a fortune.

But they *never, ever, ever* shoot below f/2.8.

Ever.

One guy told me that "Pros never do. There's almost no need, especially for a human subject."

They use 2.8 lenses because they have more headroom when stopped down. They are usually 5.6 shooters with human subjects and the 2.8 constant lenses simply gives them more latitude to get into the lenses sweet spot for sharpness and colour than wide open. Wide open lenses are soft (primes as well) and their contrast is lacking, especially in the corners.

And they know how to focus, just like your summary described. In fact, one guy said he requires sharpness above all (because colour can be dragged out now in PP) and once gone, you can never get it back. Colour fidelity and DR are actually more important to most observers, but there's no consensus with colour. There is with sharpness. So getting an accurate, focus and sharp detail trumps all else. If they want background effects and bokeh, they can PP it (not that I approve, but the point is there and they sell their work to people who do just that, including National Geo.).

They both had to think about whether they owned a lens faster than 2.8, and when they last used it. Neither could remember.

The shallow DOF of sub-2.8 aperture is a recipe for OOF, especially handheld. Sure enough, until I stopped down, my photos looked considerably worse than theirs did. I was using aperture to control light first, DOF second. I had it backwards.

So, the lesson I learned about aperture at a kid's birthday party is that a fast 50 works best at 2.8-4 because of the headroom it brings and I get much better AF stopping down. They were right also about the better colour and definitely sharper images, not just because of the DOF and the lens sweet spot, but also because . I re-learned the lesson about aperture and its limitations and opportunities.

ISO is another kind of latitude. As is flash.
Thanks for your input. Same as in film SLR. I am always at 5.6 to 8 in my K1000 in the past even though I have an F2 lens. Same also now in my K-x.

I only use F2 if I want to capture something fast in the dark that don't require image quality that much and at the same time avoid using very high ISO.

I heard from a friend that using High ISO most of the time will strain our APSC sensors and reduce its life. I still have not researched on it if it is true.
07-01-2010, 12:53 PM   #191
Site Supporter
Aristophanes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,922
QuoteOriginally posted by k54 Quote
I heard from a friend that using High ISO most of the time will strain our APSC sensors and reduce its life. I still have not researched on it if it is true.
Your shutter will fail years before that happens.
07-01-2010, 12:56 PM   #192
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 787
QuoteOriginally posted by k54 Quote
Thanks for the additional info. I will stay with my K-x and not buy the D-90 anymore as what I had planned by December.

As for our new President, I was amazed that his convoy followed traffic rules and even stopped by red lights. He is the 1st one that I've seen do that.

He really proved that I made the right choice voting for him and be proud to be a Filipino again.
ray,

i still do mental gymnastics about switching systems, but i always end up with staying w/ Pentax. too much to switch, for too little benefit and also loosing other Pentax plusses.

i hope pentax will improve on their current bodies where they are "weaker" than the competition, hopefully by this photokina.

hopefully too, P-Noy will do good. btw, he's a Pentaxian too, no?

regards,

jordan

Last edited by opiedog; 07-01-2010 at 01:14 PM.
07-01-2010, 12:56 PM   #193
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,212
QuoteOriginally posted by k54 Quote
Thanks for your input. Same as in film SLR. I am always at 5.6 to 8 in my K1000 in the past even though I have an F2 lens. Same also now in my K-x.

I only use F2 if I want to capture something fast in the dark that don't require image quality that much and at the same time avoid using very high ISO.

I heard from a friend that using High ISO most of the time will strain our APSC sensors and reduce its life. I still have not researched on it if it is true.

The only sensor failure I've ever had was on a Nikon and they replaced the sensor under recall even after it was out of warranty.
07-01-2010, 01:27 PM   #194
Junior Member
jwiles's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ohio
Photos: Albums
Posts: 45
QuoteOriginally posted by mokey Quote
OK. I've been a Pentax girl since my first camera. Loved them and their lenses. In the last 6 months, my DA*16-50 has had motor replaced, and then had to have focus mechanism "adjusted" (stopped auto focusing completely) Now it works fine, but my DA*50-135 is starting to squeek - which is how the 16-50 started. It is 6 months out of warranty. Pentax Canada says they will "look at the situation" Here's hoping they cover it.
So basically, I really want someone to remind me why I loved Pentax so much. I do a lot of sports photography for hockey and soccer (my kids teams, not professionally) and I've never been totally happy with the speed of AF.
Watcha think? Should I sell off my system -K20d , 16-50(2.8), 50-135(2.8), 12-24(4)
and switch to Nikon???
You should also consider that you have more than one lens encountering the same problem. Coincidence? The odds are against you here. Perhaps take a look at your environment, usage habits, etc to see if there is something causing the problem rather than blaming the equipment. I'm not saying it's your fault, but make sure you take EVERYTHING into consideration before jumping. I would hate to see you go through the trouble of selling and buying up to a more expensive rig only to find out that the problem comes back to haunt you with your new gear.
07-01-2010, 03:07 PM   #195
k54
Forum Member
k54's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manila
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 78
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Your shutter will fail years before that happens.
Thanks for the info Aristophanes. I heard some K-x user encountered shutter failure at about 11 to 15 k even though the mtbf is 100 k.

I hope that it won't happen to me.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dslr, months, pentax, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Time for upgrade - Stay with Pentax? mindglow Pentax DSLR Discussion 63 08-09-2009 01:04 PM
Reasons to stay Pentax?? Don't hate me 68wSteve Pentax DSLR Discussion 42 05-04-2009 11:22 AM
Why do I stay with Pentax? Wheatfield Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 39 11-06-2008 04:26 PM
These flowers remind me of 60's wallpaper little laker Post Your Photos! 0 08-11-2008 10:04 PM
Pentax AF-540 - Making it stay in manual mode? Entropy Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 7 07-22-2007 07:48 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:41 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top